Chocolate, beetroot and stout cake

Nothing is more comforting than a slab of rich, chocolate cake.
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Serves 10

*1 large beetroot, approx. 300g 
*Juice of 1 large orange
*150ml strong stout in the 6.5% ABV or greater range (but not too sweet), carefully warmed to a simmer
*230g  of self-raising flour
*50g cocoa powder
*200g brown sugar
*Zest of one lemon
*60g milk chocolate
*60g 70% dark chocolate
*100g unsalted butter, chopped
*3 free range eggs, beaten

For the chocolate stout icing:
*250g ounces icing sugar, sifted
*80g ounces unsalted butter, melted
*60 ml Stout
*40g milk chocolate, finely chopped
*40g of dark chocolate 70%, finely chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 160C /320 F/gas mark 3.
2. Butter then line a 24cm springform cake tin with baking paper – bottom and sides.
3 Wash and trim the beetroot, cut in half and then cut each half in quarters. Place in a small saucepan with lid, add orange juice and gently simmer, with lid on, until just tender. Remove beetroot and place in a bowl with cold water. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin by gently scrapping with a knife and cut into small cubes. 

4. Place in a food processor and blitz until a paste forms.  Add half of the stout, blitz some more, then set aside.
5. Sift flour and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and lemon zest and set aside.
6. Pour 300ml water into a saucepan or the bottom of a bain marie or double boiler and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl or the top portion of the double boiler and place over the simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt before giving it a stir to combine.  Add the chopped butter to the chocolate and allow it to melt before stirring to combine.

7.Remove the bowl from the saucepan and allow the mix to cool a little before adding the three beaten eggs and then the rest of the warm stout and the beetroot purée, giving everything a good stir so it is well combined.
8. Pour the chocolate beetroot mix into the bowl with the dry ingredients and give it a good stir so there are no dry lumps, then pour into your prepared cake tin and pop that in to the oven.
9. Cook for about 40 minutes. Check cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer into the cake – it should come out pretty clean or with just a few crumbs on it.  If it comes out with wet cake mix, cook a little longer.
10. Allow cake to cool before turning out. Serve warm as is or put in the fridge to cool completely before icing.

Method for the chocolate stout icing:
1. Put the butter, stout and chocolate in a saucepan over gentle heat and stir while it all melts then mix well together. Sift the flour into a bowl and then gradually whisk into the melted chocolate mixture until well combined and smooth.

2.Remove from the heat and allow to cool before icing the cake.
3. After carefully icing the cake – the icing will run, so pour it carefully onto the centre of the cake and allow it to spread – put the cake in the refrigerator until the icing is set.

More from The Beer & Food Companion:
The Beer & Food Companion by Stephen Beaumont is published by Jacqui Small, £25.

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